In the clinical world, eyes – specifically the iris – have long been a useful instrument in helping healthcare professionals examine and determine a patient’s health condition.
So in today’s environment, where prevention is clearly preferable to cure – not least in eliminating further burdens on health services – a real-time screening system utilising the tremendous strides made in artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm technology would appear preferable.
This is where Ophtascan comes in. Developed by Oncotech Nordic AB, Ophtascan is a mobile in-real-time detection system of pre-cancerous and all four levels of cancer conditions and targeted oncological diseases in the human body. By simply using their own smartphone devices, users can photograph their iris, and upload the image to Oncotech’s server. Oncotech’s AI diagnostic and deep learning system then sends the results back to the user within just 25 seconds.
Oncotech’s CEO Andre Rafnsson explains, “People will be able to self-diagnose for pre-cancerous and targeted existing cancerous conditions via a smartphone in-real time. The process is quick, on demand, cost effective – and does not overload the public health care diagnostic system unnecessarily, hence eliminating patient cancer screening waiting lists.
“Conditions currently clinically validated and screened include lung cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and prostate cancer.”
Rafnsson has over 25 years’ management experience in the international pharmaceutical, medical device, specialty chemicals, and the biotech sectors. With its base of operations in both Sweden and the United Kingdom, Oncotech has been established by Rafnsson, alongside a management team consisting of CTO Marat Kalimulov, CSO Professor Shamil Gantzev and COO Rustem Amirov.
The roots of the Ophtascan proof of concept technology can be traced back to research and development undertaken by the Russian military 40 years ago. In those rudimentary times, the nascent technology wasn’t sophisticated enough to realise the system’s full potential. In 2014, Kalimulov and Professor Gantzev relaunched the initiative by incorporating IT and AI, giving fresh impetus to the possibilities offered by an examination of the eye.
Last year, validation of Ophtascan was completed, following tests on 800 oncology patients over a three-year period. The scanning precision success rate was over 96 per cent, with Rafnsson expecting to reach a 98-99 per cent precision scanning rate by the third quarter of 2021, as additional patients are tested and data is validated on a daily basis.
CEO Andre Rafnsson continued, “Our patent is now pending for the software and design algorithms. We have diligently started discussions with several telemedicine and remote health diagnostic business partners in Europe, North America and Asia with a view to license the Ophtascan technology. Technically advanced businesses can see the potential impact of this breakthrough in increased positive medical outcomes for patients. Cancer survival rate is determined by a number of factors, and early detection is one of the most significant determinants. Ophtascan is precise, quick, well documented and is highly cost-effective.
“The very exciting news too is that new research is underway for Ophtascan tests that will examine the early warning signs for type 2 diabetes, a condition with rates that are seen as a ‘ticking time-bomb’. The diabetes clinical test-trials have been completed with a positive proof of concept confirmation, where 100 patients have been successfully tested.”